The Little Mermaid trailer gives a first look at an iconic Disney villain

Disney fans, rejoice! A brand new The Little Mermaid live action teaser trailer has treated us to a first glimpse of some iconic characters.

Our excitement for Disney’s The Little Mermaid live action remake has been building ever since the early stages of production were first announced way back in 2017.

Now, to mark the fact that the film’s cinema release is less than 100 days away, Disney has released a brand new teaser trailer – and as well as providing a snippet of Ariel actor Halle Bailey taking on one of the original film’s most poignant songs, it also gives fans their first glimpse at the iconic villain, Ursula the Sea Witch.

The short clip begins by taking viewers into Ariel’s dazzling underwater kingdom, as Bailey sings Part Of Your World, the moving track which sees the title character share her fascination with the human world, and her desire to “live out of these waters” and “spend a day warm on the sand”. 

As the teaser closes, we hear Melissa McCarthy’s Ursula cackling, as her eyes are briefly illuminated.

The trailer also features our first glimpse of Jonah Hauer-King as Ariel’s love interest, Prince Eric, in a scene that appears to take place after our heroine strikes a bargain with Ursula, allowing her to transform into a human and walk on two legs. 

The star-studded cast will also feature Javier Bardem as King Triton while Daveed Diggs will voice Sebastian the crab, Jacob Tremblay will be the voice of Ariel’s fish friend Flounder and Awkwafina will bring to life a gender-swapped Scuttle.

Additional cast members include Jude Akuwudike as Grimsby, Eric’s loyal majordomo, and The Undoing’s Noma Dumezweni as Carlotta, the Prince’s kind housekeeper.

Bailey shared a first look of her taking on the iconic character all the way back in the summer of 2021, posting a mesmerising Instagram photo of herself lounging in the water as the sun sets over the sea.

The picture seemed to hint that the remake had opted for a more pared-back Ariel than the animation. Instead, Bailey wore her natural hair and neutral tones in place of fiery red locks and vibrant green tail.

“I feel so grateful to have experienced this film in all of its glory… it has been the toughest experience being away from everything and everyone I’ve ever known, to feeling self doubt/ loneliness, but also feeling such freedom and perseverance as I’ve reached the end,” she wrote in her caption.

“This experience has made me so much stronger than I ever thought I could be.”

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The news that Bailey would play Ariel in the live action remake prompted some backlash when it was confirmed in 2019, with some commentators struggling to get their head around the idea of a black woman playing an imaginary character.

However, when an initial trailer was released last year, it proved the importance of on-screen representation, as parents started to share clips of young black girls’ excited reactions to seeing a Disney princess who looked just like them. 

Melissa McCarthy will play sea witch Ursula in the remake

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As for the all-important Disney songs, it’s great news for Hamilton fans. Creator Lin-Manuel Miranda is confirmed to have worked on the movie with the original composer Alan Menken, and previously revealed that he had written four new songs for the live-action remake.

The remake will also include some other key differences to the 1989 original animation, such as a storyline that shows King Triton and Ursula as siblings. Evil aunt Ursula and her poor unfortunate niece? That’s a dynamic we can’t wait to see play out on screen.

Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda is behind the music for the film

The Little Mermaid will be released in cinemas on 26 May 2023.

Images: Disney/Getty/Halle Bailey

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